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Holcim to Seek Tenders for New Zealand Cement Plant This Year

Holcim Ltd., the world’s second-biggest cement maker, will seek tenders for construction of a new plant on New Zealand’s South Island before making a final investment proposal for the project.

Tenders will be sought later this year, though the exact timing is yet to be settled, Mary Pauwels, a spokeswoman for Holcim New Zealand said in an e-mail. The company is refining the costs of the project and aims to put its proposal to its Swiss parent by year-end, she said.

Holcim makes about half New Zealand’s cement and has been considering the project near Oamaru since 2006 to replace its ageing Westport plant and product it imports. The company received planning approval in August for the 880,000 metric ton-a-year project that was priced in 2008 at NZ$500 million ($362 million), including new port infrastructure and ships.

“Until now we’ve only had higher level costing estimates,” Ken Cowie, Holcim New Zealand’s capital projects manager, said in a statement today. “Reviewing mechanical, electrical and civil aspects of the plant construction will give us a more accurate capital cost. These costings will be further refined through the tendering process.”

Holcim’s sole competitor in New Zealand is Fletcher Building Ltd., which expanded capacity at its Golden Bay cement plant near Whangarei in 2007.

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